Editorial: Who footed the bill?

President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has been on a tear in terms of traveling abroad, attending international gatherings of heads of state and heads of government. Since he assumed office on June 30, 2022, Marcos has been on his eighth foreign trip, and the latest one is his attendance at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland.

For the WEF which runs from Jan. 16 to 20, 2023, the Philippine delegation is reportedly composed of 70 people.

The Philippine delegation dwarfs that of the United States, which only has 19 members composed of cabinet secretaries and some congressmen and headed by labor secretary Martin J. Walsh, according to Antonio J. Montalvan II in his commentary piece for the Vera Files.

With the Philippines’ sizable delegation, lawmakers who belong to the Makabayan bloc in the House of Representatives have described Marcos’ presence in the WEF as a “lavish business trip,” reports said.

The Makabayan bloc is thinking of filing a resolution to investigate the details of the Davos trip, particularly on the members of Marcos’ delegation and the concerns about who footed their bill.

Wives, relatives and associates of some delegates were seen in some photos at the WEF, the Makabayan bloc said.

Alliance of Concerned Teachers Rep. France Castro said on Thursday, Jan. 19 that a delegation of 70 people is “too big,” adding that it is embarrassing to the other delegates in Davos who have less than 10. “What are they doing there?” she said in Tagalog.

Malacañang has yet to issue a statement with regard to the question on who footed the bill for the trip, especially for those individuals from the private sector.

It must not wait for the Makabayan bloc to file a resolution to answer that simple question.

Bringing a big delegation to Switzerland is certainly a showcase of insensitivity to Filipinos, some of whom are struggling to buy a decent meal amid the soaring prices of basic commodities triggered by inflation.